aba events
Nikon Monarch 7

    Blog Birding #77

    Nathan Pieplow at the ever-fascinating Earbirding, tackles an avian mystery:

    Major why-dunits are more common than you might think.  Let me put it this way: it’s difficult to take your camera to a local park and capture a bird plumage or behavior that has never before been photographed.  But it’s about twenty times easier to make an audio recording of a call or behavior that has never before been audio recorded.  And finding out what kind of sound you’ve recorded takes real detective work.

    This is a dove detective story.  A White-winged Dove detective story, to be precise.

    At Birdfellow, Dave Irons takes a close look at seasonal changes in Fox Sparrows, particularly variation in bill coloration and how it pertains to the species' well-known populations:

    My experience with Red and Sooty Fox Sparrows led me to believe that their most consistent aspect is bill coloration, which consists of mostly dark horn color on the upper mandible and bright corn-yellow along the basal cutting edge of the upper mandible and most of the lower mandible. I've always thought that this bill coloration was universal among Sooty and Red Fox Sparrows, with Slate-colored Fox Sparrows showing lesser amounts of duller yellow on the bill.

    Dave Ringer, writing at 10,000 Birds, considers the evidence that White-breasted Nuthatch is, in fact, four species:

    But two studies suggest that White-breasted Nuthatches actually represent four distinctive and largely isolated populations that may deserve full species status.

    In 2007, Garth M. Spellman and John Klicka published a paper, Phylogeography of the white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis): diversification in North American pine and oak woodlands (full-text PDF), in which they revealed the existence of four distinctive populations based on studies of a single gene. They identified the populations as follows: Eastern clade; Pacific clade; Eastern Sierra Nevada clade; and Rocky Mountain, Great Basin, and Mexico clade.

    At Birding is Fun, Chris Petrak attempts to bridge a linguistic gap as broad as the Atlantic with a treatise on "buzzards":

    For many years my indulgent spouse allowed an old cowboy hat to perch embarrassingly on top of the grand-father clock. It was a tattered hold-over from youthful days when I experimented with various personae. It had a long dark feather attached to the band. From time to time a visitor in our home would look at the rakish plume on the ragged relic and ask, “Where did you find the buzzard feather?” I usually replied that I had picked it up along some river when I was canoeing.

    At North American Birding, the great lister himself, Sandy Komito, regales us with his next great game:

    I’ve reached the age and stage in life where I can say anything I want, do anything I want and not worry about what others might say or think. That’s the great part of turning 80.  And I like that.

    Last year, on April 10th, I started a new birding game for myself.  That day, I finally broke down and bought myself one of the new Canon auto-focus digital cameras.  The lens, which is a 100—400 mm, is stabilized, which means I probably can get away without having to lug a clumsy tripod along.

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
    Nate Swick

    Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
    If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
    Read More »

    Recent Comments

    • Quentin Brown, in Your turn: Birding Urban Arizona... { A nice urban spot is the Desert Botanical Garden on Galvin Parkway in Phoenix. There are walks each Monday by a friendly and knowledgable group.... }
    • Ted Floyd, in Remembering Matthiessen... { You got it! }
    • Ted Floyd, in March/April 2014 Featured Photo... { Here's more video of the Anna'x x Magnificent hybrid, with Birding magazine and the ABA in the credits (at the end, of course): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOlX2zRG73g&feature=youtu.be }
    • Frank Izaguirre, in Remembering Matthiessen... { "One imagines with a sense of foreboding this strange, solitary bird passing astern, its dark, sharp wing rising and vanishing like a fin as it... }
    • Gregg Gorton, in Your turn: Birding Urban Arizona... { Echo Canyon on the West side of Camelback Mountain (near the head of the camel) has great Prairie Falcon-watching, and I assume, nesting activity: just... }
    • Older »

    Categories

    Authors

    Archives

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    • From Coffee to Penguins: Winter Research 2014 April 2, 2014 6:04
      This post is the beginning of a series meant to highlight new discoveries about birds and make ornithological research more accessible to young birders. […]
    • March Blog Birding April 2, 2014 4:06
      This cold winter seems to be finally releasing its iron grasp on much of the northern US and Canada, and is giving way to thoughts of warmer weather and the arrival of the first spring migrants. With these first migrants have come some great blog posts from the young birding community. Lucas Bobay from Birding With […]
    • Merlin: an iPhone Bird Identification App For Beginners March 27, 2014 4:51
      Merlin, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s new bird identification application, is a seamless, quick way for beginners to identify birds on-the-go. Taking into account the bird’s color and size, habitat, and time of year, the application provides accurate possibilities of the bird you found. The location uses the eBird citizen-science database to compile a lis

    Follow ABA on Twitter

    Nature Blog Network